Wednesday, March 25, 2015

SWAP - Sewing with a Plan - Wardrobe Contest

My current wardrobe is minimal - and I want to change that. I entered the Travel Wardrobe at Pattern Review in February and now have the outfits below for summer. (The navy and white top, navy skirt, aqua dress and shrug were for the contest.)

Now I've taken on a bigger challenge - the Wardrobe Contest. Here are the details: 

During this 6-week contest, you'll be required to sew the following 9 items:

4 tops
3 bottoms
2 sewist's choice

The tops may be tee's, blouses, shirts, tunics--pretty much any item that covers the top half of your body!

Bottoms may be pants, shorts, jeans, skirts, culottes, jumpsuits, etc.

The 2 "Sewist's Choice" items may be another top or bottom, a dress, a jacket or cardigan (just examples). Ask me if you have questions but as long as it coordinates with the other items, it works! (Remember it must be a piece of clothing, not an accessory.)

ONE item, and only one item, can be something previously purchased or sewn or purchased during the contest.

For the past week I've been pulling fabrics and patterns, doing a little shopping and a lot of thinking. This is what I've come up with so far.

Vogue 1410 in a polka dot chambray
This dress is not my usual style but I saw it made up in a fabric store in town and really liked it. This will be one of my Sewist's Choice items. I hope to stitch it up before the contest begins.

Vogue 8689 in a small print blue and white voile
I've made this shirt twice for my daughters and now want one for myself. 

McCall's 7093 in the red polka dot linen
This is a new-to-me pattern and I still need to measure the pattern and possibly do a muslin before the contest begins.

Vogue 7947 is there for the shell top. I'll make it from the stretch lace with a dark blue under shell (attached).
I'll likely not use this pattern, but a self-drafted one for which I have no photo.

Vogue 8499 from the blue linen/rayon 
I'm planning to make both a skirt and a pair of pants with this pattern. I'm still on the hunt for another fabric before I decide whether or not the blue will be skirt or pants. I put the white fabric alongside just for an idea. White linen might be nice if I can't find anything else.

Vogue 8982 from the red linen
After avidly reading the reviews on Pattern Review, I adjusted the pattern (cut out a 10 based on my upper bust measurement) and did a small FBA (1/2 inch), a narrow shoulder adjustment (5/8 inch) and stitched up a quick muslin. I'll cut it out as soon as the contest begins and it will likely be the first thing I sew. Also a Sewist Choice item.

Vogue 8831 will be the last top. I'm looking for a red and white print knit but haven't found anything yet.

Whew. That's a lot to sew in 6 weeks.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Summery Dresses and Two Toppers

 I started this year with the intention of sewing all my clothing and documenting the process here. I've managed to sew quite a bit but the documenting has fallen by the wayside due to illness and a temporary full time teaching job. Perhaps I can play catch up. 

The dress above is Simplicity 2938. I've made it several times as a top and now twice as a dress (the other is in navy linen, barely seen in the photo below).

photo taken at a restaurant in Mexico
What I like about the pattern is the pleating at the neckline and the seams that angle slightly outwards and downwards from it, creating a princess seam.

With both dresses I added a full lining rather than the facings, and an invisible zipper in the back. For the aqua dress, also in linen, I used this tutorial from Coletterie to finish the armholes. That's a trick I'm planning to use from now on - no more leaving the shoulder seams open and fussing over matching them perfectly.

In the restaurant photo I'm wearing a kimono jacket/shawl/shrug that I created from a piece of wildly printed silk chiffon. There are many tutorials on line and I combined a couple of them for the look I wanted. I hemmed it by hand, using this rolled hem technique by Ami Simms. I really enjoyed the way the hem magically rolled over and I'm planning to use this technique more in the future.

So, the reason for this second dress in the same pattern is that I joined Pattern Review's Travel Wardrobe Sewing Challenge. I won't be wearing this dress until May or June at the earliest, and even then I'll want another layer close by. 

The cardigan is Butterick 5528, made from a medium weight ponte. I'm not very pleased with the way the front hangs - I think it needs more weight.